Canada travel guide, including map of Canada, top Canadian travel experiences, tips for travel in Canada, plus where to see whales and wildlife in Canada
From St John’s, Newfoundland in the east, Vancouver Island in the west and north, way north to places like Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada covers nearly 10 million square kilometers.
Travel in Canada – there’s enough space to do pretty much whatever you like. Enjoy awesome scenery, see abundant wildlife like moose, polar and grizzly bears, humpback whales and, um, groundhogs, raccoons and beavers, experience world-class outdoor adventure, sample the sophisticated cultural scene in Canada’s cities… the hardest part of travel in Canada is deciding what to do first.
Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean, across ten provinces (from east to west: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia) and three territories (Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon) – each with their own unique culture and landscape.
Canadians themselves are nice, too. Everywhere you go in Canada, you’ll experience cultural reverberations – whether it is standing beside the Westminster inspired Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, on the Plains of Abraham battlefield in Quebec City, or in the very nearly Irish fishing communities in Newfoundland.
Then turn everything you know about Canada on its head by taking part in the jingly-jangly magnificence of an Native Canadian pow-wow – where visitors from all over the world are invited to participate in the inter-tribal dance.
A ‘touque ‘is a warm, wolly hat – essential fashion item in winter.
‘Eh’ is a colloquial expression Canadians tag onto the end of most sentences and a unavoidable souvenir that will slip into your own speech like a comfortable slipper after a few conversations with the locals.
Canada has four strong seasons and although it may occasionally snow in summer and you may find blooming tulips in January, spring, summer, autumn and winter all have their unique charms.
International airports are dotted around Canada. Toronto is the major hub for international flights. Toronto (YYZ)
Generally, public transportation in Canada is excellent in cities and urban areas.
You drive on the right-hand side of the road in Canada, and whilst roads are excellent, drivers should be prepared to drive in snow if traveling in the winter. In winter, cars are equipped with winter tyres and roads are gritted and salted.
Taxis are readily available in city centres. Via Rail is Canada’s national rail service , which offers journeys between cities and villages, as well as multi-day sleeper journeys, including spectacular, glass-roofed carriage trips through the Rocky Mountains
Long-distance bus companies are prolific and an inexpensive way to travel in Canada. Several consecutive days on a bus remains a rite of passage for travelers and locals alike.
The standard of accommodation in Canada is generally good. Hostels are prolific in cities, B&Bs dot the countryside and roadside motels are something worth try (if only once).
Camping – and all variations of – are national pastimes in Canada. A network of National Parks have created an outdoor playground covering an area bigger than the United Kingdom. Whether you plan to hike-in, portage-to, car, caravan, canoe camp, or just sit on a case of beer beside a tent, Parks Canada will help you get it done.
There isn’t much that can’t be grown, fished, farmed or shot in Canada, so make it part of the journey to eat locally and seasonally. Food in each region is a product of its landscape and history – it's well worth tucking in.
Fast-food giant Tim Hortons specializes in coffee, doughnuts and sandwiches – manage to order ‘an extra-large double-double and a snak-pack of Timbits’ from the drive-thru window and you’re practically a citizen.
Vegetarians are well catered for in Canada.
Beer is popular in Canada and is an essential part of watching hockey (winter) and attending barbeques (summer). Labatt 50 and Molson Export are traditional, old-man beers, while mid-size and microbreweries like Moosehead, Sleemans and Big Rock and Steam Whsitle are producing some truly fine brews.
Canadia is the leading producer of icewine, a sweet dessert wine made from frozen grapes. Vineyards in Ontario’s Niagara region and British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley are producing excellent chardonnay, pinot noir and Riesling wines.
Canada has excellent free national health care services for Canadians – anyone else will have to pay through the nose should they need medical services. Travel health insurance is therefore essential, or you may end up with a shocker of a bill.
Water is generally fine to drink throughout Canada, although drinking directly from lakes or rivers can result in Giardiasis, a parasitic infection from water contaminated with animal feces – known locally as ‘beaver fever’. Giardiasis is easily treated with antibiotics.
Found everywhere from Austria to India, Ethiopia to Colombia, these rare cattle breeds – the star of a new photography book – are dignified, fascinating, and udderly charming More
Killer whales can be easier to find than you think. From the icy waters of the Antarctic to the beaches of Patagonia – we uncover the best orca-watching spots around the world... More
Sleep under giant ice sculptures, eat off frozen plates, and have a go at building your own igloo for the night. Whichever hotel you choose, be sure to brace yourself for the cold... More
From sunrises at Angkor Wat in Cambodia to sunsets over the Pyramids in Egypt and everything in between. We've selected our favourite Instagram posts of the travel classics. Has your photo made the list? More
From bear watching in wildlife preserves and canoeing along the Yukon River, to riding historic railroads, there’s every reason to escape to the wilderness of northwest Canada More
This year, be among the first to experience these freshly opened countries, trails and itineraries, from Iceland and Svalbard to lesser-visited Laos… More
British Columbia is blessed with natural good looks, oodles of space for adventure and a climate that makes it a joy to explore anytime More
Paddle the lakes in summer, marvel at amber trees in autumn and skate your way through winter – adventure is guaranteed in the Great White North no matter which day, month or season you choose to visit More
From the snow-filled Grand Canyon to sugar-sprinkled monuments like Rome's Colosseum and white-carpeted landscapes. These sights from around the world are even more 'Insta-worthy' during winter... More
Dazzled by her umpteenth sighting of the northern lights, Wanderlust’s editor-at-large, Phoebe Smith, reflects on why natural spectacles are so mesmerising… More
Found only on the remote islands of British Columbia, spirit bears have long been revered by First Nations peoples. Lyn Hughes went in search of the rare ursine, but would she find one...? More
Gorgeous and untamed, the Yukon is the longest free flowing river in North America. Running through pristine wilderness in Canada and Alaska, here’s how to experience it at its most majestic... More
The rarest travel experiences. The toughest. The dearest. The ones that won’t be around forever. These are the real do-before-you-die journeys... More
Explore wintry landscapes by day and spy cosmic wonders by night. Take your pick from our list of ultimate northern lights escapes... More
It's the country's culture, sport, food and festival centre, and the greatest gateway for your Canadian adventure... More
From a ghostly castle in France to a paranormal pub in Britain, these 'possessed' destinations are guaranteed to spook even the most sceptical of travellers ... More
These wildlife encounters are best experienced when the temperatures drop: wrap up and head into the wild, white yonder – to encounter polar bears, wolves, and dancing cranes... More
In the run-up to Halloween, Wanderlust editor-at-large Phoebe Smith braves a stay in the hotel where master of horror Stephen King was inspired to write his bestseller… More
Drive the ice roads of Canada, take the North-west passage or travel by train under the Northern Lights of Norway. Take your lead from the great explorers and create a polar journey to remember... More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.
This Self Drive (OR Independent Non Self Drive) tour for the independent traveller starts in Vancouver and takes you by ocean ferry across the Straits of Georgia to Victoria and Vancouver Island. V...
Take flight from Ottawa and journey back in time on an exploration of the High Arctic. As a modern day adventurer on this new 17-day exploration, trace the route of Sir John Franklin’s fateful mid-...
KE Adventure Travel
Fun-filled multi activity family holiday on the West Coast of Canada
15 day Rocky Mountaineer rail and Alaska cruise from £2,699 per person including flights, rail, cruise and mixed meal plan. Highlights: Inside Passage, Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau Icefields, Banff
Don’t dream. Just DO IT! This Independent or Small Group Escorted journey for the adventurous traveller, is possible year round. In summer and autumn, drive on the famous Dempster Highway through n...
From: £Contact us
This has to be THE most popular route for a fly drive holiday in Canada.
From: £Contact us
This fly drive holiday enables you to experience the real Atlantic Canada - towns, countryside, mountain retreats, seascapes and lands where colourful cultures are reminiscent of bygone years.
From: £Contact us
To see the polar bears in the wild is an experience never to be forgotten and should be on your list of things to do before you die!
This Self Drive tour for the independent active traveller starts in Calgary and takes you from the Prairies to the iconic resort towns of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in the Rocky Mountains. You w...
At the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, a Viking expedition from Greenland built a settlement over 1000 years ago. Against a stunning backdrop, discover the fascinating archaeologica...
This Self Drive (OR Independent Non Self Drive) tour for the active traveller starts in Calgary and takes you to the iconic resort towns of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in the Rocky Mountains. You...
This Self Drive (or Small Group Escorted) tour for the active traveller takes you through some of the highlights of Canada’s Maritime Provinces. Living on the edge of North America, the Maritimes p...
Windows On The Wild
A winter time opportunity to explore the edge of the largest forest region in Canada.
Windows On The Wild
Retrace the Stampeders route one-way over the Chilkoot Pass on this enlightening adventure.
Beginning in Canada, travel not only into the High Arctic, but also back in time, tracing the route of Sir John Franklin’s fateful mid-19th century expedition to find the fabled Northwest Passage....
Explore the Canadian Maritimes as you travel through the Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.Taste remarkable seafood, discover a unique Acadian culture and dr...
Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new articles, new competitions, new events and more!